Paris knife attack: what we know

Telegram från AFP / Omni
13 maj 2018, 09.18

An attacker crying "Allahu akbar" killed one person and wounded four others on the streets of Paris Saturday evening before being shot dead by police.

Here is what we know so far:

Shortly before 9:00pm (1900 GMT) a knife-wielding attacker struck on Rue Monsigny, close to Place de L'Opera, an area of central Paris filled with restaurants, bars and tourist attractions.

Two witnesses and a judicial source said the man was shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is Great) during the attack.

Many described scenes of panic as Parisians realised a potential terror attack was underway in a city that has been hit by multiple deadly jihadist assaults in recent years.

"I was taking orders and I saw a young woman trying to get into the restaurant in panic," Jonathan, a waiter at a Korean restaurant, told AFP.

The woman was bleeding and the attacker appeared behind her. He said a young man tried to fend off the attacker who then fled.

"The attacker entered a shopping street, I saw him with a knife in his hand," he said. "He looked crazy".

According to sources with knowledge of the case, the man attacked random people in the street. The dead victim was a man in his 30s. A 34-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman were seriously wounded and rushed to hospital.

A 26-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man were slightly wounded.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb later told reporters that all four were out of danger.

"I have just seen the person who was most seriously injured, she is better, she is saved," he said.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said police were on the scene "within five minutes" of the attack. Some nine minutes later the assailant was dead, he added.

A police source told AFP one officer tried to restrain the attacker with a taser but when that failed a colleague shot the man dead.

"The speed of the response obviously avoided a heavier toll," Philippe said.

The attacker was born in the Russia republic of Chechnya in 1997 and his parents were taken into custody on Sunday, according to a French judicial source.

"He had no judicial record," the source added.

The man had brown hair and a beard and was dressed in black tracksuit trousers, according to a source with knowledge of the case.

Investigators said the assailant carried no identifying documents on him.

Authorities are treating the attack as terror related, primarily because witnesses described him shouting "Allahu akbar", a refrain commonly used by jihadists when carrying out attacks.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, according to the SITE monitoring group, but provided no corroborating proof.